Explore the Counties of
the Tri-State Area
The northern most region that greatriverroad.com covers is a collection of six counties in the area where the borders of Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri meet. The cities of Keokuk, Fort Madison, and Quincy have all made significant efforts to make a visit to their community an enjoyable experience. The town of Nauvoo, known for its place in the history of the Mormon’s Great Trek to Utah, is the most comprehensive restoration project in the Middle Mississippi River Valley. It’s entirely possible to spend a full day exploring Nauvoo. There are plenty of museums, cultural institutions, and events to keep a visitor to the region occupied. Nature lovers will find plenty of state parks and conservation areas. One of the most scenic sections of the Great River Road is IL-96 south of Nauvoo where the tree-lined road is just yards from the river and is very beautiful in the fall and where bald eagles can be seen in the winter. Our coverage that includes Lee County, Iowa, Lewis and Clark Counties in Missouri, and Hancock, Adams, and Pike Counties in Illinois.
Lee County has vibrant tourism organizations to assist visitors in planning a trip to their area. The county has hosts a variety of events in all seasons including Bald Eagle Appreciation Days in January and the Tri-State Rodeo in August. While you're in Lee County be sure to visit the historic neighborhoods of its communities and the Main Street business districts which feature many antique and unique specialty shops and historic architecture. The area offers many enjoyable restaurants and a variety of lodging options, including bed and breakfasts that overlook the river. The people of Lee County invite you to come and enjoy their communities and all that they have to offer.
Visitors to Hancock County should plan to spend some time, perhaps as much as a day, in the region in order to get a full grasp as to all that it has to offer. Most of the activities are in Nauvoo, although Carthage offers the Carthage Jail complex and the Kibbe Hancock Heritage Museum. There are some excellent natural spots including Nauvoo State Park and the Weinberg-King State Fish and Wildlife Area. The ride along IL-96 runs right along the river from Nauvoo to Hamilton is especially colorful in the fall.
The Mississippi reaches its western most point in the vicinity of the county line between Adams and Hancock Counties. The river that defines Illinois’ western border has carved out a river valley that extends from five to fifteen miles wide bordered by hills or bluffs that are harder to erode than what once occupied the river valley. Along the Mississippi River in Adams County there is a belt of bottomlands ranging from one to five miles in width except for an approximately two length in the vicinity of Quincy where the bluffs overlook the river.
PIKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS
Pike County is located between the Mississippi and Illinois rivers as they move towards convergence. Pike County is noted for its rolling hills and scenic vistas and its many rural communities that offer opportunities to see a part of Illinois as it existed in the days of the pioneers. Besides Pittsfield's connection with Abraham Lincoln the county is home to a number of small museums that preserve the local history of the area. A visitors center is conveniently located in downtown Pittsfield with a 24-hour foyer when the main lobby isn't open during regular hours.
LEWIS & CLARK COUNTIES, MISSOURI
Although Lewis and Clark Counties are have mainly rural nature to them these two counties in Missouri’s most northeastern corner have a number of activities to attract visitors. History can be experienced at both the Iliniwek Village and Battle of Athens State Historic Sites. Camping can be found at the Battle of Athens Site as well as Wakonda State Park. Canton has a burgeoning art community aided by nearby Culver-Stockton College. Lewis and Clark Counties are short drives to Hannibal or Keokuk to explore the attractions on the western side of the Mississippi River.